Friday, October 19, 2012

Pinehurst, here I come.

Sitting on USAirways, heading to Charlotte. My intention was to read, but the young lady (read: terror) behind me makes it impossible to concentrate. So, we’ll start on the blog for this upcoming adventure.
Backtrack to last week. Was on Facebook and saw a post on Pinehurst page. They were looking for three individuals who were willing to be on camera and attend a three day golf academy. Free academy, free lodging, free meals. Send an email why, they said. As I’ve been chronicling my “driver yips,” unable to hit my driver, or my woods, having to settle for 4 irons and loss of distance, I looked at my calendar, figured I could be free if I could get a flight and shot a quick email to them. Didn’t spend much time. Mentioned being left handed. Mentioned my “driver yips.” And missing playing the white tees since I want’s hitting my woods. Said choose me. Pretty short and simple email. Figured maybe they’d do a social media search and find me and see that I’m a little bit of a golf nut. Sent and then went back to work. Didn’t share the post for selfish reasons -- figured that if I shared to my friends that I could lose my opportunity (sorry guys).
So, come Tuesday, I get a call in the morning on my way to a meeting from Dan at Go TV. He’s calling about my email to Pinehurst. Asks some questions about my game, asks what I would think about spending the time on camera for three days. Asked more questions, but I was driving so probably only paying half attention to what I was responding to. Said that if I could get a flight, I was in. He said he had to make a few calls, but I was the number one women they were considering. Get back to the office, checked airfares -- in particular American, where I have status. $1,600 round trip. Sorry, but no go. Check other airlines and US Air has flights that are only about $650 round trip to Raleigh Durham. Calculate the baggage fees, other fees and it still doesn’t make sense to go American. But we booked it (yes, and the next morning, doublechecked American in case there was a big drop and I could cancel these flights). Oh, how I love the status I have on American. Seat selection, early boarding, no bag check, Admirals Club. But, I’m heading to Pinehurst.
Of course what I’m going to wear on camera was on my mind -- but not really. Black is slimming so we are pretty much wearing black. Thought about taking all of my Pebble Beach attire, hoping that when I show up that they just have to outfit me in new Pinehurst attire. But, changed my mind (some Wisconsin, some Michigan). Made sure I packed makeup that I normally don’t wear on the course. I’m hearing Laura Holt tell me “just a little bit of mascara and lip gloss and don’t forget your tinted moisturizer with SPH.” Can’t let her down. Jason Alexander’s advice is to make sure I wear the same colored shoes. Done.
So, Wednesday night have to attend the Dallas IABC Quill Awards where we are up for an award for the Tyler Technologies 2011 Annual Report and haven’t packed anything but my golf clubs. We win an award of excellence so it’s a great start to this adventure. Get home, pack (yes, Woodbridge is represented with a golf hat and a pullover), and off to sleep.
Up and at the airport pretty early. I’m worried that it’s going to take more time since I have to go through the “normal people” lines. Also hoping that there is an Admirals Club in Terminal E (there’s not). OK, here’s a plug for US Airways. I have to give the person at the gate credit. The plane was running late (took off early and caught head winds). He prepares everyone for a firedrill to get us boarded quickly so we can make up some of the time so we can all hopefully catch our connecting flights. He does it in a professional, yet funny manner that I don’t see from American (will have to check to see if US Airways is on time more). Boarding process is efficient, except for the people who put their rollers in the wrong bin the wrong way and more rearranging commences. And, more humor from the flight attendants who are bossy in a funny way when it’s time to turn off our phones and get seated: “You have connections, we don’t. So get in your seats.” “If you don’t want to turn your phone off now, we need you to get off the phone.” Meanwhile the mother (who, by the way, is just as irritating as the beast and her older sister) behind me with the terror is trying her best to get “it” to stop being a nightmare, even telling the flight attendant that her child can get kicked off the plane. What I do want to plug American for though is “nicer” planes than US Airways. But, I’m heading to Pinehurst.

So, what’s in store. DFW to Charlotte. Then Charlotte to Raleigh Durham. Get my bags which will hopefully make the connection. Catch the Pinehurst shuttle to Pinehurst (about 1 hour and 15 minute drive). Supposedly Brad, one of the other three “stars” will be on my shuttle. We’ll get checked in -- think I’m staying at the Carolina or the Holly -- a different place from last time we stayed when we were at the main hotel. I think these are going to have more character. We’re to meet up with Dan at the bar with the third -- I think he’s from North Carolina and Brad is from Arizona. For a drink and the run down.

The academy. Of course I went online and checked it out. It’s going to be pretty packed from a schedule standpoint. Here’s the agenda (Tony made fun of me for actually printing it out -- I just had to know) -- you can also view it on the Pinehurst Golf Academy section at www.pinehurst.com):

Friday, October 19
7:00 am Breakfast with Sue in the Carolina Room
(along with all 12 participants in this three day academy)
7:50 am Meet at Resort Golf Shop
8:00 - 8:30 am Opening Clinic
8:30 - 9:45 am Full Swing with Video Interview
9:45 - 11:00 am Chipping and Situational Practice
11:00 am - 12:15 pm Pitching and Situational Practice
12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm On-course Practice *
6:00 - 7:00 pm Cocktail Party
* this I’m looking forward to -- play 9 holes on one of the courses, except #2 with the instruction. And then, we can keep playing the rest on our own (of course I’m going to get my 18 holes in).

Saturday, October 20
8:00 - 8:30 am Opening Clinic
8:30 - 9:45 am Putting and Situational Practice
9:45 - 11:00 am Bunker and Situational Practice
11:00 am - 12:15 pm Full Swing
12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm On-course Practice
Sunday, October 21
8:00 - 8:30 am Opening Clinic
8:30 - 9:45 am Full Swing with Video Review
9:45 - 11:00 am Chipping/Putting Review
11:00 am - 12:15 pm Pitching/Bunker Review
12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Play Golf
Head back to Dallas.
Am I nervous? Yes. Don’t know where the camera will be (me and my line of vision) or how my swing will react to being on camera. Don’t know if the camera will add 20 pounds that I don’t want. Don’t know if I’ll cooperate with the instructors (who supposedly are going to work with your swing, not break it apart and start over). But excited to have three days of intense golf instruction at Pinehurst. And hoping to break the curse of the driver yips. And work on my putting. And bunker play (guess they won’t let me use my putter). And short game. I’m sure at times I’ll be on form. And at times I’ll be a basket case. But, at least with my experience in advertising, and being in front of people, I think I’m up to the challenge. Hopefully on camera I will restrain myself from any “colorful language” that I have been know to blurt out. At least I can guarantee that I won’t have a Pete moment and throw a club (sorry, Pete, you knew I had to work that in).
And then hope I bring a new game back to Woodbridge. Hammer!

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